It’s business as usual in Washington, DC. According to a report by TVTechnology.com, an emergency supplemental appropriation for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq included measures for low-power television broadcasts. One provides grants to help these stations continue to broadcast analog signals after the February 17, 2009 deadline for the full-power stations to cut off their analog signals. The other moves the funding up a year to help the lower power stations convert to digital broadcasts. Both of these provisions were included in a version of the funding bill that the Senate passed by a broad margin last week. These measures still need House approval.
Not many people are aware of low power and translater stations that broadcast television in many parts of this country, or that these stations are not required to cease their analog broadcasts next February. I find it curious that the government wants to help them postpone the transition at the same time that it’s providing funding to aid with the change-over. The low-power stations don’t have the resources available that the big stations have, but it would seem that the confusion over the country’s television broadcasts will be resolved a lot sooner if we can get all the stations to make the switch. If it takes adding measures to a war funding bill, then perhaps that’s for the good in the long run.